Viewpoints

Barry Kramer

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Committed to Fair Housing

March 2018

April is Fair Housing Month and this year we are also commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act. As a Realtor for the past 20 years I have been proud to be affiliated with the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors and other organizations that are committed to promoting fair and…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: A Big Year for Fair Housing

February 2018

2018 is a celebratory year in the history of the fair housing movement. It marks the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. The act banned discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in the renting, buying, and selling of all types of housing. Passage of the act, which was signed into…

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Robert Withers

Guest Viewpoint: The Role of Alternative Lending in the CRE Market Today

February 2018

Most of us remember the Great Recession of 2007-2012 and, more specifically, the crippling financial crisis of 2007-2008. One of the largest—if not the largest—contributors to this event was the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis. During this time, we experienced “a perfect storm” of falling real estate values, tightening mortgage lending practices, and the evaporation of…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: The Big Picture

February 2018

For many years now we’ve been hearing a lot of buzz in the Realtor Association and MLS world about consolidation. We’ve certainly been in the lead on this issue in the lower Hudson Valley, with the Westchester County Board merging with the Putnam County Association in 2009, and the Westchester-Putnam merger with the Orange County…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Co-op Reform Passes in Rockland, Westchester is Next

February 2018

Co-op boards have had unlimited timeframes in which to give an answer of acceptance or rejection to prospective purchasers. That may now end in Rockland County. A new bill, if it becomes law, will mandate that a co-op board must accept or reject an applicant in 45 days or less from the time that they…

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Barry Kramer

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Could Co-op Transparency be Coming Soon?

February 2018

As a long-time advocate for legislation that would improve transparency in co-op transactions, I am pleased that progress is being made. After several years serving as Vice Chair of the NYSAR Co-op Working Group under the excellent leadership of Chair Barbara Ford, I am honored to now serve as Chair along with Long Island’s Liz…

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Jennifer Maher

PUTNAM POSTING: The Sky is Not Falling, but Your Taxes Could Be!

February 2018

Today’s political climate is so full of partisan rage that many pundits seem to have lost their ability to evaluate clearly. The tax reform recently passed by Congress is a perfect example. The varying opinions out there seem to say  it’s the worst or the best. That seemed rather far-fetched, so since I am not…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: A Closer Look at a Possible Payroll Tax in New York

January 2018

Governor Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State address and in his budget address earlier this month called for a new payroll tax system to be implemented in New York. In his remarks, he unveiled two proposals. One was to completely eliminate the income tax with a payroll tax so that an employer could…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Words Count

January 2018

Last year in my December column I wrote about diversity. I also included this sentence in my introductory paragraph. “In the 50-plus years since Dr. King’s assassination we have certainly made progress in improving race relations and creating economic opportunities for all of our citizens, regardless of race or ethnicity. However, all we have to…

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Jennifer Maher

PUTNAM POSTING: Diligence in Planning

January 2018

The Putnam County Chamber of Commerce board members have been bringing to the forefront key issues for nearly 10 years. We recently put together a County Planning task force to drill down and implement those issues. Here are some highlights of our efforts: County Chamber Planning: Meetings will be held with the County Executive, Planning…

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Barry Kramer

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Plenty of Opportunities Available for Service

January 2018

Happy New Year! I would like to thank the members of HGAR for their confidence in electing me as their 2018 President. It’s quite an honor and privilege to serve such a great association. I have some big footsteps to follow. My predecessor Dorothy Botsoe did an awesome job and had us all drinking tea…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Bold Thinking Required After the Passage of Tax Reform

January 2018

Now that federal “tax reform” has passed and been signed into law, it remains to be seen how the provisions of the bill will affect home values and taxes in the State of New York. It is an opportunity for New York State government to reimagine the way government works and functions. Several initiatives could…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

December 2017

I entitled my December column last year, “Blink of an Eye,” and it certainly does feel like the years go by more and more quickly. However, I must confess that from a political stand point, it seems like about four years of politics were jammed into 2017 instead of just one. In many respects it’s…

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Dorothy Botsoe

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: We are the World: Closing Out the Year

December 2017

"All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney It’s here, December, which means January will be knocking on our doors shortly. And 2017 was a year filled with the courage to accept change and make some new moves. From our Grand Gala top of the year kick-off,…

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Leon Cameron, Esq.

BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: What You Need to Know About ‘Amanda’s Law’

December 2017

In 2010, New York Gov. David Paterson signed “Amanda's Law,” which went into effect on February 22 of that year. The law is named for 16-year-old Amanda Hansen of West Seneca, NY, who died in early 2009 due to a carbon monoxide leak from a defective boiler while she was sleeping at the home of…

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Jennifer Maher

PUTNAM POSTING: Local Retailers Must Make the Shift to Online Sales to Survive

December 2017

On Small Business Saturday, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and I conducted our fifth annual tour of Putnam County small businesses. Stores were filled with great selections, beaming with community pride and the kind of service only small town retail can provide. We visited flower shops, gift shops, boutiques, liquor stores and more. It’s amazing…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Spending on the New York City Budget Surges 20%

December 2017

Depending on your outlook, New York City government either has a spending problem or a revenue problem. In the last four years the New York City budget has gone from around $72.7 billion to approximately $86 billion. A good economy has caused revenues to the city government to surge, but a downturn in the economy…

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